Nicky’s Blog: Moving Forward with Love and Gratitude
I was sitting across from my sister last week, whom I have only seen once or twice in a year due to the pandemic. I had a feeling of bitter sweet; sweet in regards to seeing her of course, bitter in our conversation topic. My sister, Terrah , enjoys all things hospitality. She loves to travel to great destinations, stay at beautiful hotels and eat at fine dining establishments. So of course she, as always, enjoyed the fruits of my labor as a chef. She would travel with her family and friends to visit whatever restaurant Tyler or I were at. Her biggest enjoyment is receiving excellent service. She recognizes that a server or front desk clerk has the ability to make an individual feel welcome, special and improve a person’s day.
There are many ways the pandemic has damaged the hospitality industry, but we must not allow it to take away our passion to serve and bring joy into people’s lives. In our conversation, Terrah spoke about a recent experience at a hotel and restaurant. She went with her family on a winter getaway. She spoke of an unruly hostess and server. She felt she was a bother by asking simple dining questions and found herself apologizing for simply being at the restaurant. The experience had her confused; she expected changes in operations not attitude. Feeling a sense of loyalty for my fellow comrades in hospitality; I started to explain all the hurdles that particular restaurant probably had to go through to just be open. My sister reminded me of the golden rule, “you can always be kind”. Be kind when you are having a bad day. Be kind even if you are treated unkind. In fact, that is the most important time to be kind.
As I brought this story up at our last food and beverage meeting my general manager responded as follows. “It is our absolute passion to provide quality service during these most trying times. We are all so excited to move forward”. Covid has taken its toll on everyone’s social and emotional well being. We will not let it rob us of our passion.
Executive Chef Tyler Krost then started speaking about his vision for the future. “We have had to learn how to do everything differently. We have had to learn how to overcome the constant changes in how to function day to day. Pre-Covid, the mentality was more, more, more. Now the mentality has to be how to do less but better than ever before”. Chef Tyler is making smaller, more intimate menus simply done right and changed more frequently. “I am fermenting my own kimchi, grinding my own meat for burgers and I have a 3 day process on my confit chicken wings. I have a smaller menu, yet, I am spending much more time in the kitchen making sure these items are absolutely perfect. I want to keep myself and my staff out of our comfort zone by changing my Dining Room menu every week, so it is seasonal and fresh”, said Tyler.
I left the meeting proud of where I work; proud of the individuals I work with. I feel grateful to still be in the hospitality business. We must be grateful for what we can still do. I am moving forward with love and gratitude.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org before your next stay to let me know if there is anything I can do to make your stay more special.
“My love for food and wine is due to the social aspect of sharing the experience with my family and friends.”